Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz, US Vice President Mike Pence, Poland's President Andrzej Duda, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pose for a family photo at the conference on Peace and Security in the Middle east in Warsaw, on February 13, 2019.
"Israel and Iran are at war. This is a new era for the future, and for prosperity for all the nations". Well, today, they said it.
"The result of this conference ideally would be a demonstration of Iranian isolation and unity amongst American allies in Europe and the Middle East", said William Wechsler, senior adviser for Middle East programs at the Atlantic Council in Washington. "It is clear through the prime minister's long-standing signaling that his intention is to build support for a confrontation with Iran".
The Israeli prime minister's office walked back his comments about two hours later.
The word "war" was removed from the statement without explanation.
Israel and many Sunni Arab countries, from Egypt and Jordan to the Gulf states of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates, all recognize the Iranian regime as their biggest geopolitical threat in the region. "On the other hand, it's [a] ratcheting up of rhetoric vs. Iran by Netanyahu".
The summit appears to be the first time an Israeli leader and senior Arab officials will attend an global conference centered on the Middle East since the Madrid peace conference in 1991, which set the stage for the landmark Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinians.
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While the Trump administration initially promoted its meeting as Iran-focused, "organizers have broadened the scope to include issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the fight against the Islamic State group", the Associated Press reported from Warsaw on Wednesday.
"Iran isn't behaving like a normal country".
Netanyahu and bin Alawi are now in Warsaw to attend a so-called "Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East", which is being co-organized by the U.S. and Poland. "Just as there is little to misinterpret with regard to the prime minister's words, there is nothing subtle about the true intent of the Warsaw summit, and the guest list proves it".
Wednesday's meeting took place at the Warsaw Intercontinental hotel, where Netanyahu's delegation is staying.
Netanyahu says he doesn't think the Trump administration's "Deal of the Century" peace plan will be discussed.
Germany and France decided not to send their foreign ministers, while the European Union's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, is also not attending because of scheduling issues, an EU official told Reuters.